, Gloucester, MA


October 5, 2013

Letter: Appreciating life here on Cape Ann

To the editor:

This last string of days — has it been 7? 10? 15? — from late September at least through today, have been truly extraordinary for me with regard to peacefulness and beauty, and a sense of the preciousness of this season.

I hope each of you has been able to be “out in them” in some way that is special for you, too, even for an hour or so at the beginning of the day or end, while there is still daylight after work.

I sailed in the early morning from Rockport Harbor over to Conomo Point with my brother-in-law. The entire way — after Halibut Point, and the back shore, especially through Lanesville, Plum Cove and Bay View — brought the richest of early autumn greens, golden greens, a few brilliant colors, and the shore seemed so peaceful from the water.

The land and water shimmered, and I wondered what it was like 150 to 200 years ago, and wished I could have sailed past them then. As the day passed, the colors deepened, became more intense, especially over the water, and I realized once more how fine Fitz Henry Lane’s rendering of those late afternoon days were, especially late in his life and in this season, even during the terrible juxtaposition of the Civil War.

While I am primarily speaking about just “being” on this unique and wonderful island during the last week or 10 days, I also have been delighted by the events that I feel so fortunate to have taken part in that are so unique to this place.

Earlier in the summer, the American Legion Band concerts on Sunday nights at Back Beach in Rockport, some folks just sitting in the cars and tooting their horns in appreciation of the Sousa marches or Gershwin show tunes; the Cape Ann Farmers’ Market over in Stage Fort Park on Thursday afternoons; the magnificent Schooner races that first Sunday of September. And still sailing my small boat out on the increasingly empty autumn ocean.

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